Epilepsy Monitoring Unit – Day 1

The Back Story

I know this blog is called Menopause Express, and my intentions when I started it were to stay on topic, but you know what they say about the best of intentions and that road.

I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 10, so I’ve been used to the seizures for a long time. I’ve always been lucky, though. I was considered well controlled. After the hormonal changes of my teen years I’d go about 5 years between seizures. But as I got older, 5 became 3, then 2….then months… This year, since January, I’ve had about 5-6 tonic clonic seizures (full convulsion). This includes the times I’d have 2 in one day. I’ve also had 4 complex partial seizures, which can develop into tonic clonic seizures, but they didn’t. On top of these, I’ve had a couple of simple partial seizures, where you just appear to “space out” a minute. I realize it happened, note it in my diary, and move along. Twelve, total, according to my neurologist, when I saw him in late June/early July. Roughly in a 6 month period.

I’ve tried countless medications. They either stop working, don’t work, or I have horrible reactions to them.

He says I have medicinally resistant epilepsy, which sounds a bit frightening to me. But that’s why I’m here today.

Day 1

We drove in this morning to check-in at the gawdawful hour they wanted me to be here. We decided to leave early to allow ourselves time to get lost, as this was right in the middle of the “medical district” in Houston, where tons of hospitals are, and this particular hospital is HUGE!! While I’m not an early riser, I must say, sunrise over downtown was beautiful. Unfortunately, I was not awake enough to get a picture.

Check-in was…confusing. I’ve been here all day and no one has taken my co-pay yet. But, I seriously doubt I’ll get out of this for free.

On day 1, they do an MRI first. Being the claustrophobe I am, I took my Clonazepam and went with the nice gentleman. We got in there and he covered me with warm blankets, and did something new: he put a nice warm blanket around my head so I could cover part of my face and hide!!!! Oh, this helped so much!!! I went right to sleep and didn’t wake up until it was over.

Once back in my room, it was time to hook me up to all the wires. I feel like I could communicate with satellites now.

Yeah.. And this is how I’ll be for the next few days. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do daily updates. They actually *want* me to have a seizure in here, so, I don’t know how I’ll feel after that. Why, you ask? Why do they want me to have yet another one? Because they’re trying to pinpoint the area of the brain they come from. I don’t really like the idea of having yet another seizure, but if it helps in the long run, and if I don’t go into one of those seizures you can’t come out of, well, I’m in the right place.

Ok, fine. I’m terrified. But they’re good at explaining everything, right down to the why’s, and easing concerns as much as possible.

More tomorrow…

Today is the big day

Today is the big day. I leave this morning for Austin, TX, to take part in my first protest march tomorrow.

Yes, I’m 50 years old and I’ve never done this before. I’ve bitched, I’ve ranted, I’ve donated, But I’ve never stood up with anyone for a cause I believed in so passionately. Tomorrow, with my best friend and so many other women, I will do just that.

Today, many Americans will see a dangerous narcissist sworn into office. A bully. A bad example for our children. Someone who has disparaged and insulted minorities, the disabled, and women.

Someone who has already begun to strip away our rights, bit by bit.

Someone who wants to take us back to those “good old days”, when women stayed home and everyone “knew their place” in society.

We stand tomorrow. We’re having a peaceful protest tomorrow in Austin. We march for our rights… for your rights.

WE MARCH!!

womens-march-atx

 

Rites of Passage

We all have them at different points of our lives. As parents, we watch our children go through them as they grow.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Graduation.
The First Day of School.
Puberty.
High School.

Yesterday, we celebrated another rite of passage with our son:

The Big Day

 

High School Graduation

I don’t know who’s happier for school to be over – the boy, or me. But at the same time, I got all weepy yesterday. Gods! My kid is a high school graduate now! I’m not ready for this; how on earth can he be ready??? It’s not time yet. He can’t be 18.

Don’t get me wrong; I know this has to happen. But where does the time go? You mothers out there know exactly what I’m talking about. I still remember that little boy who graduated Pre-K, back in 2003. And look at him now!

 

Then and Now

 

For those who haven’t reached this milestone yet, here’s my unsolicited perspective from my experience. There are times you share the joy of your kid’s experiences, and there are times you may butt heads over grades, and perhaps late homework. Keep going to bat for your kid. STAY INVOLVED and talk to the teachers. Fight for your kid’s education, because the teachers are so busy they can’t fight for everyone. They are so relieved when the parents get involved, even when they disagree.

Is your kid not doing well in class? Is this sudden or a trend? Talk to your kid and find out why. Grounding and restrictions isn’t the way to resolve this problem, as it usually stems from external problems, physiological issues, depression, or in some cases, undiagnosed learning disorders. Work with your kid on study habits. Help them find alternatives that work if the standard skills don’t. Different people have different learning styles.

When things aren’t working, find a good friend (or two), who can stand in as a tutor for your kid. Your kid knows this person and relates to them well, and you know them. They’re friends of the family, so the relationship is already there. We couldn’t have done this without some of our close friends that we consider family. 🙂

 

Rite Of Passage

 

When it’s all said and done, your kid(s) will graduate, too, and you’ll feel as though you’ve gone through your own rite of passage as a parent. Perhaps we do. Because it’s the beginning of another phase of our kids lives, and we know they’re going to fly the nest. We have to let them go, and thus, begin the next phase of our own.

 

 

A sense of melancholy

Magickal ScentsFestival season is finally over. Usually, by this time of year I’m just glad to see that it’s done so I can rest, but not this year. Yes, I was exhausted by the end of faire, but I felt a sense of melancholy. I finally got a taste of what it was like to run my own shop and I loved it. Magickal Scents was a huge success and I’m looking forward to doing more festivals. I’ll also return to Texas Renaissance Festival next year!

I made a closing weekend update on my website at TempestMysticProducts.com.  Follow the link to see a gallery of pictures and upcoming festival dates for 2015.

This is the first weekend I will have had at home where I get to do nothing. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself, so I find myself cleaning like a mad woman. But now that festival is over I’ll try to start writing more over here again.

Duch as Ruby Danger

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!!

A lengthy absence

I’ve had a bit of a lengthy absence since my last post. But if you follow this link, you’ll see why I’ve been so busy. I have much to celebrate right now, but no time to party (and little time to write) until after Thanksgiving. I will try to keep you updated as I can, but for now the majority of my content has to go towards my Tempest site. If any of you are in the Houston area, I hope you can make it out to Texas Renaissance Festival! Drop by Magickal Scents and you’ll get to meet this insane woman people call “Duch”. 😉

Self-Harm

A few days ago, a good friend of mine wrote a post about her own experiences with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, not for attention, but to help others. It took a lot of courage for her to write her post.

Her strength and courage inspired me to do the same with my own issue that arises from long-term depression and anxiety; something I’ve kept to myself for about a month or so. Continue reading “Self-Harm”